The desire to be loved is what Maslow identified as a psychological need. So it makes total sense why I drive myself crazy agonizing over this thing called love. Love, in and of itself, is not a concept that I’m unfamiliar with. I have the love of my family and friends. And let’s not forget about the ultimate expression of love that comes from God. But in spite of all the affection they provide, there’s still something missing.
“God is customizing him for you as we speak.” “Be patient, he is just around the corner.” “It’ll happen when you least expect it.” These are the statements I hear all the time when discussing my love life, or lack thereof. I know the intentions are good, but people don’t realize how irritating those statements are when your desire for a loving relationship remains unfulfilled. You start to wonder if Mr. Right made a wrong turn or if he doesn’t exist at all. What seems like a never-ending season of singleness has led to feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness, helplessness, and pure exhaustion. It sounds ridiculous that my feelings about myself would be tied to the absence or presence of a man, but that’s my reality. I often question my worth, my value, and my appeal.
Over the last few years, I have watched [what feels like] every woman find someone to love. I wonder what they did differently that allowed them to be chosen as I continue to chase men who have no desire to be caught. It used to be that Valentine’s Day was my nemesis, but thanks to social media, I am constantly reminded that Cupid is still employed (just not by me). Every post I see is #isaidyes, #MCM, #bae, #lovemesomehim, etc. I think that love is a beautiful thing [I’m looking for it myself!], but since it has yet to become my thing, I’m a little cynical. It’s tough seeing love stop by everyone’s doorstep not knowing if your turn will ever come.
People underestimate the power of loneliness until it becomes personal. You do things, allow things, and disregard boundaries all for the temporary satisfaction of having some attention. You will recycle men that should’ve never been in the rotation. You will accept less than you deserve because it’s still greater than nothing. You will settle and mask it as compromise. You know that you are wasting your time, but you have plenty of it to waste, so why not?! It’s a vicious cycle that leaves you in worse shape than you were before.
I’ve given a lot of my time and energy to feeling bad about who I am not…a girlfriend, a fiancé, a wife…and that has robbed me of my ability to focus on all the great things that I am and still have yet to become. It’s a constant battle between acceptance and despair, but I am learning to enjoy the good, the bad, and everything in-between. To my sisters in the struggle, here are some reminders that have helped to pull me through:
• Tell yourself on a daily basis that you are fearfully and wonderfully made
• Be patient with yourself and with the process
• Use your wait time wisely
• Don’t allow yourself to be picked over; You are to be chosen.
• Protect your heart, but don’t prevent it from being accessible
• Learn to love yourself
• Be thankful for the expressions of love that you do have in your life
• Some doors close because they were never meant to be opened
For those of us still playing the waiting game, we have the perfect opportunity to learn who we are, and learn to love who we. If you are a relationship expert, a counselor, or a professional who wants to help Black women and girls “love the skin they’re in”, consider becoming a BGH partner: https://blackgirlhealth.com/partnerships/